Dozens of Israeli, Palestinian and international 11th graders at the Eastern Mediterranean International School in Kfar Hayarok yesterday (Jan 14) completed ‘marathon peace talk simulations’. The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks simulation was hosted by the Leon Charney Resolution Center, founded by Tzili Charney in memory of her late husband, and facilitated by Dr. Sapir Handelman, winner of the Peter Baker award for peace and conflict studies, who leads Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating congress assemblies in the USA, as well as in Israel and the PA.
The peace negotiation simulations, in which the students represent the Israeli and Palestinian delegations, featured two separate tracks – with one track establishing negotiations and the other working behind the scenes.
The Leon Charney Resolution Center, which opened in September 2015, is dedicated to the history and future of negotiations, peace and learning. The late Leon Charney (1938-2016), a prominent lawyer, author, broadcaster and former advisor to, among others, President Jimmy Carter, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Ezer Weizman, played an important role in the Camp David Peace Accords, which led to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Charney, who dedicated a major part of his life to back-channel diplomacy, understood that the road to peace and stability required peacemaking activities in multiple dimensions. Together with his wife, Tzili, Charney established the center in order to encourage, develop, and initiate peacemaking activities that can create the foundation for a better world.
Dr. Sapir Handelman, who will be facilitating the negotiations and teaches at Tel-Aviv University, is a former Lentz Fellow in Peace and Conflict Resolution Research at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Wayne State University, where he was a visiting professor at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. He developed and leads the Minds of Peace Experiment – an Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating congress – in major universities throughout the US, Canada, and in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The mission of EMIS is to make education a force for peace and sustainability in the Middle East., while fostering intercultural understanding and promoting personal and social leadership. The students, who come from all over the world to live and study together, can choose between two international study programs - either the two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program or the three-year Cambridge IGCSE, AS and A level programs.
Photo credit Guy Yechiely